From BYOVD to a 0-day: Unveiling Advanced Exploits in Cyber Recruiting Scams


Key Points

  • Avast discovered a new campaign targeting specific individuals through fabricated job offers. 
  • Avast uncovered a full attack chain from infection vector to deploying “FudModule 2.0” rootkit with 0-day Admin -> Kernel exploit. 
  • Avast found a previously undocumented Kaolin RAT, where it could aside from standard RAT functionality, change the last write timestamp of a selected file and load any received DLL binary from C&C server. We also believe it was loading FudModule along with a 0-day exploit. 


In the summer of 2023, Avast identified a campaign targeting specific individuals in the Asian region through fabricated job offers. The motivation behind the attack remains uncertain, but judging from the low frequency of attacks, it appears that the attacker had a special interest in individuals with technical backgrounds. This sophistication is evident from previous research where the Lazarus group exploited vulnerable drivers and performed several rootkit techniques to effectively blind security products and achieve better persistence. 

In this instance, Lazarus sought to blind security products by exploiting a vulnerability in the default Windows driver, appid.sys (CVE-2024-21338). More information about this vulnerability can be found in a corresponding blog post

This indicates that Lazarus likely allocated additional resources to develop such attacks. Prior to exploitation, Lazarus deployed the toolset meticulously, employing fileless malware and encrypting the arsenal onto the hard drive, as detailed later in this blog post. 

Furthermore, the nature of the attack suggests that the victim was carefully selected and highly targeted, as there likely needed to be some level of rapport established with the victim before executing the initial binary. Deploying such a sophisticated toolset alongside the exploit indicates considerable resourcefulness. 

This blog post will present a technical analysis of each module within the entire attack chain. This analysis aims to establish connections between the toolset arsenal used by the Lazarus group and previously published research. 

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